Everything

Ch. 80, Taoist prophecy?

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Chapter 80 seems like a prophecy made by Lao Tzu!

 

Reduce the size of the population and the state.

Ensure that even though the people have tools of war for a troop or a battalion they will not use them;

And also that they will be reluctant to move to distant places because they look on death as no light matter.

 

Even when they have ships and carts, they will have no use for them;

And even when they have armor and weapons, they will have no occasion to make a show of them.

 

Bring it about that the people will return to the use of the knotted rope,

Will find relish in their food

And beauty in their clothes,

Will be content in their abode

And happy in the way they live.

 

Though adjoining states are within sight of one another,

And the sound of dogs barking and cocks crowing in one state can be heard in another,

yet the people of one state will grow old and die without having had any dealings with those of another.

 

 

No idea what to say. Guess I'll just explain how I got to this idea and you guys, in the mean time, tell me if you also think it is a prophecy or not and why.

I recently had two nice people ring on my doorbell after praying to god to show me the way for the second time. The first time I followed gods signs I ended up being lead to nature by a dog. This second time was before I went to bed. I dreamed about a great wise text, with phrases. The first phrase was so intense that it made me lucid. I made and effort to recall it in order to continue reading the next quote in this dream without loosing memory of the first one. It was really hard. I knew that if I indulged too much into the text, I would forget the quote itself. This wisdom was so intense and powerful, I coulden't help but to read on. I should have stopped and woke my self up in its memory, but I coulden't resist the temptation. As if I wanted to take 2 diamonds even though I can only take one. Then I want three, etc, and ended up with none. I read further and ended up forgetting everything I read. Two people rang my doorbell. All I recalled was a vague proof of the wisdom I read in the dreams. This was the third phrase I read of this book that had something to do with a drunken aspect to all of humanity. I can never know how significant it might have been to me, since I forgot it.

 

The two nice people started talking about the bible, not even bothered by the fact that I just woke up. Why would I reject their message when it was free and they insisted on telling it? I listened patiently and nodded in understanding as they talked about the end times, death of the kings and rulers of the current world, no death in the future, some thing picking up 144.000 people or so to take to heaven. No idea what it ment, but I just nodded and we ended the talk of prophecy with me politely questioning their idea of god and god having a human son l, jesus christ, where I always thought he was not the son but messenger of god. They brought me rumors of paradise and headed on to the next door. It planted a seed in my mind of prophecy. It seems that qu'ran has prohecy and the bible aswell. I wondered wether or not Lao Tzu might have been a messenger of god or follower of the subtle signs of god. I came across this short film about a monk and fish, where the fish was a symbol of god in christianity. Trying to catch it the monk coulden't. The act of hunting the fish raced his mind day and night. Eventually what was an innocent hunt to clear the fish which has disturbed the calm waters of his mind during meditation, became a journey of following the fish. The constant consciousness, focus on the fish and alertness to detect the fish, constant searching and constant hunting, running, chasing, all of it lead. It all lead to great change in this monk. In the end they both head for the heavens and the monk grabs the fish while floating around in heaven and he lets him go. The hunt is long over.

 

This end of the monk and fish got me thinking that if Lao Tzu did exist, it must have been something like that. There comes a point where peace just is, and there is nothing else. Either that, or you start having a clear picture of what paradise actually is and thus you can be released of eternal chase for paradise. Just the knowledge of a coming paradise must have been enough. The end of times perhaps? I'm sure that every great man always leaves his greatest words somewhere at the end of his life. I read chapter 81. It seems like a last attempt at showing the path of peace, love, unity, god. Then reading 80, it sounded like a prophecy by Lao Tzu!

Edited by Everything

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My friend Everything is thinking too much again.

 

(I don't believe in the ability to foresee the future, as in fortune telling or prophecy.)

 

 

BTW Flowing Hands, that is a nice translation of the chapter you have at your site.

Edited by Marblehead

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My friend Everything is thinking too much again.

 

(I don't believe in the ability to foresee the future, as in fortune telling or prophecy.)

 

I predicted you would say that!

 

Seriously ... if the TTC speaks to profound truths about nature and human nature then what it says will be universally true and so would predict in a way what will happen in specific circumstances.

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I predicted you would say that!

 

Seriously ... if the TTC speaks to profound truths about nature and human nature then what it says will be universally true and so would predict in a way what will happen in specific circumstances.

 

Yes, I tried to be careful as to how I spoke to the concept of prophecy.

 

There is a difference between pulling rabbits out of a hat, and studying history, observing the flow and predicting that if A, B, and C occur then it is likely (a given probability) that X will happen.

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Yes, I tried to be careful as to how I spoke to the concept of prophecy.

 

There is a difference between pulling rabbits out of a hat, and studying history, observing the flow and predicting that if A, B, and C occur then it is likely (a given probability) that X will happen.

Isn't that a prophecy?

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Tools of war for troop or batallion? Could be tanks, bombs, planes, whatever.

 

When there is abundance, free food, etc. Who needs transportation like cars and the like? Technology might transport the food or make it available right where we are. No need to travel far and waste the time of your life.

No more thick populations, finaly no more city life where people live unnatural and like rats.

 

Not to mention that back in those time it was impossible to hear chickens and dogs from nation to nation. I assume it was custom there to put huge walls and isolate themselves. How ideal would it be for city's to stay connected trough technology, yet never deal with eachother in person and never have any direct influence on eachother.

 

A true utopia

 

Wether an african owning a chicken in Africa or an American owning a dog in America, they are diffrent yet have no need to change eachother.

Edited by Everything

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Isn't that a prophecy?

 

I am sure that some would call it that. I prefer "a calculated prediction".

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I am sure that some would call it that. I prefer "a calculated prediction".

I know allot of people don't like the word prophecy, because they relate it to "messages being communicated to the prophet." They naturally assume that the messages are communicated by some fantasy person, which I don't. When I think of prophecy, I think of a wise man who knows his histroy and thus can predict the future. A historian can predict certain events that are coming up. A prophet can have acces to even deeper wisdom of the most ancient and prophecise the obvious to us oblivious people.

 

A prophecy is then the prediction that came out of an infinitely complex model based on images and visions that contain a infinite words each. The model is abstracted directly from experience and doesn't have to be filtered trough some language like mathematics or english. Only the prediction becomes translated. The model can also be translated, but becomes abstract when it is done so. It is up to us to see the complexity behind the translation of the taoist model. When we do move away from this abstract text and find its roots, we should be able to trace the roots to the flower come to a similar conclusion like that of ch. 80.

Edited by Everything

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somebody watch this movie :lol:

 

I don't get many of those movies here where I live. Sad.

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I know allot of people don't like the word prophecy, ...

 

Okay. I don't have a problem with what you said here.

 

However, I don't think Lao Tzu was making a prediction of the future but rather longing for days long gone when the population was smaller, before the period of "The Warring States" when people actually lived in peace, there was plenty of land to work, and the people were just too busy living to be bothered with worrying about what their neighbors had.

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A small village has fewer people.

Within the village there are machines that can work ten to a thousand times harder than man.

But they are not needed.

 

Sounds like abondened factory's. Did they have machine's of such power back then? That sounds even more like a prophecy then mine translation, hehe.

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Okay. I don't have a problem with what you said here.

 

However, I don't think Lao Tzu was making a prediction of the future but rather longing for days long gone when the population was smaller, before the period of "The Warring States" when people actually lived in peace, there was plenty of land to work, and the people were just too busy living to be bothered with worrying about what their neighbors had.

Before the period of The Warring State, I'm sure the people rode their "wagons". People had plenty reasons to explore the lands back then! I'm sure alot of sloths prefered to stick with the known, but I know that it is during these periods where great thinkers arise to think their way into trouble. If everything is set on map, what reason is there to explore? This also seems to hint at the future and not the past.

Even if it is not a prediction, I'm sure that Lao Tzu was not talking about the past either. Perhaps it is just an ideal image of a perfect society. I think its a pretty good ideal.

 

I also think that the peaceful people of past that dissapeared never had much armor and weapons. They coulden't even use them properly if they did have some.

 

I don't think that ch 80 talking about busy people either. Non where to go, living with customs. All having enough food.

 

Anyone can give me the text in original language of line of ch. 80 that say the people working on the lands? My translation doesn't mention any of it.

Edited by Everything

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Before the period of The Warring State, ...

 

Okay. You win. Hehehe. It is a prediction of the future following the next major extinction.

 

But yes, I think that, what Lao Tzu spoke of, would be an idealistic life. But, regretfully, far too many people on the planet for it to become a reality even if people wanted it so.

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Okay. You win. Hehehe. It is a prediction of the future following the next major extinction.

 

But yes, I think that, what Lao Tzu spoke of, would be an idealistic life. But, regretfully, far too many people on the planet for it to become a reality even if people wanted it so.

No problem. The chapter didn't mention any dates in this idealist vision.

 

Not very realistic to my mind either. Just like a round world was not realistic to people living on a flat world.

 

The funny thing is that the world was actually flat before someone discovered it to be round. Reality is an illusion, a persistent one.

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Reality is an illusion, a persistent one.

 

Ouch!!! Now you drew me back into the discussion. Hehehe.

 

No, it is not reality that is an illusion. The illusion is that we think we understand more than we do. And that, Sir, is a persistent one.

 

And, of course, everyone knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. Right.

 

Funny, really, the older I get the less I know.

 

But my chair is still here and supporting me very well.

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An interesting way of dissecting it is here. It looks at a dozen translations, line by line: http://wayist.org/ttc%20compared/chap80.htm

 

I like these explanations for it:

 

Tao te Ching Chapter 80 by tao-meaning

 

This chapter sounds more like a Chuang Tzu story. He like Lao Tzu made points by pointing to extreme cases and often made a joke out of people getting it wrong. There is no out and out humour in this chapter but the story told has rings of Chaung to it.

 

The story is of a place so simple and right that people could live their whole lives in perfect peace without ever thinking of going anywhere else. People so right with Tao that they would not even know they were right with Tao.

 

 

 

Simple Utopia by taoistic.com

Making knots on ropes was believed to be a forerunner to the sophisticated Chinese pictogram writing. Lao Tzu expresses a longing back to previous times, when things were simpler.

 

I have some problems with this chapter. It describes what Lao Tzu regards as a dream society, but I find it kind of boring. No travel, no visions, no aspirations, and no curiosity. Nothing but the routine of everyday life. It's certainly peaceful and secure, but isn't it also dull?

 

Not to Lao Tzu, evidently. He praises this life, which could be described with his favorite image of the uncarved wood. We would call it rustic.

 

People have boats and carriages, but no longing to use them for exploring other parts of the world. They see the neighboring village and hear sounds from there, but don't bother walking the short distance to visit and get to know its inhabitants.

What kind of life is that? What kind of peace and security? To me, it seems like sleep, and a dreamless one at that.

 

Prison or Sanctuary

Lao Tzu is tired of the spectacular and the grand. He longs back to the basic qualities of life. That's possible for someone who has experienced the world, and gotten enough of it. For those who are yet to explore it, the simple village life might be closer to a prison than a sanctuary.

 

Of course, what he describes has a lasting charm. No war. No frustrated longing for a greener pasture elsewhere. People are content with what they have, so they know how to enjoy it fully.

 

The food they make may be simple, but it's tasty and filling. Their clothes may be colorless and coarse, without any fancy decorations, but they are comfortable and therefore pretty, too. Their homes are no palaces, but they find security in them. A house doesn't need to be big to be a home.

 

People who enjoy the simple everyday life are free from anguished longings for what very few can get. They will not be tempted by things they can't reach, and they will not suffer because they have less luxury than the emperor, his dukes and generals. Only by not longing for something else, you can truly enjoy what you have.

 

 

Somehow its hard to think in terms of machines doing 100's of times a mans work in Lao Tzu's time. Some translations are tools, even goods. Interesting. I'd some it up as Keep it small and simple :)

Edited by thelerner

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Ouch!!! Now you drew me back into the discussion. Hehehe.

 

No, it is not reality that is an illusion. The illusion is that we think we understand more than we do. And that, Sir, is a persistent one.

 

And, of course, everyone knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. Right.

 

Funny, really, the older I get the less I know.

 

But my chair is still here and supporting me very well.

That you sense your chair to be supporting you does not make take away the fact that it is a virtual chair. When you look away, its no longer there. When you look at it, its there again. Its all probability. The chair itself is not even a constant and solid truth or object. When you look at the edges of the chair, it is not a straigth unchanging line. It is a moving wave of probability. There's always mystery in everything. Nothing is 100% certain. Not even when you collect data from this chair with the best technological tools of observation available to us in our current day and age.

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I have some problems with this chapter. It describes what Lao Tzu regards as a dream society, but I find it kind of boring. No travel, no visions, no aspirations, and no curiosity. Nothing but the routine of everyday life. It's certainly peaceful and secure, but isn't it also dull?

Is our way of life really a better one then the simple way of life? This is our life. We live in city's with many people:

 

WARNING, THIS VIDEO INVOLVES DISTURBING IMAGES. If you doubt, please do not watch this.

Its about how a toddler was ran over and many people ignored the toddler, because of the self.

 

Tell me, what force is stronger then unity and love. What purpose is bigger then unity and love? In chapter 81 he says it again. To be without self. This is the way of life. In this life we are all in competition. The heavens way is to win without doing harm. The way of the wise one is to win without competition. We have to work together and cooperate to evolve further. When your crave for temporary excitement is in the way, then you are blocking the way.

Edited by Everything

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That you sense your chair to be supporting you does not make take away the fact that it is a virtual chair. When you look away, its no longer there. When you look at it, its there again. Its all probability. The chair itself is not even a constant and solid truth or object.

 

Wrong. Other people have sat in it and it supported them just fine without me looking at it.

 

The chair is real, I am real, but I'm not sure about you.

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Wrong. Other people have sat in it and it supported them just fine without me looking at it.

 

The chair is real, I am real, but I'm not sure about you.

Its all a matter of perspective.

 

Other people are also conscious of the chair. The chair is in that moment being rendered to them. There is also historical consistency. When you remember a chair being somewhere, the probability of it staying there reaches a peak. Also taking a picture of the chair will collapse the wave function.

Does this make the chair more fake? No. Discovering this doesn't take away your chair. It just takes away the believe of an objective reality. There is no objective reality. The chair can not be understood because there is no chair. Thus we do not worship material. The chair is virtual. Maybe persistent ilusion is a harsh thing to say, because we are here to evolve our conscioussness trough this virtual reality. As long as you or anyone else is conscious of the chair, it will be there. There is no doubt about that. We depend on this persistent ilusion, but we should not forget our purpose here.

 

The universe perceives itself trough our eyes. As we perceive, we create at the same time. The way we collect data differs from other animals. A little insect might not capture the information of a chair as we do it. Nonetheless, it might become conscious of the shape of the chair. Here's an example:

 

Two people live in a house, isolated from the world and technology. No contact whatsoever. They have a room with a green bed and two chairs that weigh 20 kilo grams each. As the two people leave their house one day a lion eats them both.

During this time, only insects have beens going about this house. Flying trough it and collecting data and making decisions. The insects live here generation after generation, all agreeing on the shapes of the house as it was left by the two people. The shape has not been altered. Not much at all. The shape is being rendered constantly to these insects who have been collectively conscious of the shapes within the house all this time.

A wanderer comes to this, now abandoned, house and he discovers a red bed and two chairs that weigh 15 kilograms each. How come?

When the two people died, their collected information became unavailable. The insect coulden't observe the diffrence between a red and green bed, so it could have been both. The insect caught the shape of the chairs, but not its material and weight. The diffrence between a 15kilograms and 20kg chair was not consciously perceivable to these insects.

 

Some believe that even when no consciousness of the chair exists, it is still being rendered. Which is not the case. It is a self evolving system. There is a memory of the chair and there is probability of the chair. We determine together the probability. No need to render everything constantly. If the chair were a constant truth, there would be no more point in this reality. It would collapse into a single chair. People would bow down to this chair and merge with it. There is defenitely a memory of the chair. The information is constantly being stored, but that doesn't make history unchangable. Especially if the stored information was useless to the evolving system(our reality). When no wisdom is being passed on from generation after generation, the wisdom becomes lost.

 

The universal Conscioussness(God, whatever you name it) is the sovereign. He helps us to evolve towards love. If we try to ingage into sorcercery for egoic reasons, it backfires. We can however ask of it with our intention to change the probability of some little uncertainty just to open our eyes. Only if done with the right intention, in the name of love. The person who has some bad conscience written on his mind can find it hard to even become conscious of God. It requires one to forgive oneself first, let go of doubt and experience God. There is no harm in trying and having an open mind about this. There are many uncertain things in our lives. For me personaly, I intended to turn on a light by mind. It didn't work. I went out of the room and the power of my keyboard was turned on as I came back, even though I clearly recalled it being off. The funny thing is, I never recorded it so this history is still a probability. I took it as a sign, because this keyboard didn't turn itself on for years untill I intended it to do so. For me this is a huge sin, so I immediatly asked god for forgiveness and expressed my gratitude. I do not wish to engage in sorcery, or any magical stuff for that matter. That is the way of ego, and it comes with lessons for those who choose that path.

Edited by Everything

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Hello Everything,

 

I can understand how you might see this as a prophecy, but I think most scholars will agree that the Tao Teh Ching wasn't intended to be a prophetic book, but rather a social commentary on what was occurring during the time it was written. The fact that it is as practical and applicable today as it was several thousand years ago just goes to show how accurate it was in discussing the ways of humanity. (And really that's what the Tao Teh Ching is about, humanity.

 

Aaron

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